Announcements? What Announcements?

Repetitive, Exclusive, and Time-Wasting: How Can We Fix It?

Every morning between 10:00 and 10:30, the students of San Juan Hills hear the delivery of the morning announcements, but are they really necessary? Are they really all-inclusive?

Students listen to the too-peppy-to-be-human-voice repeating the upcoming events of the day, week, and month. This may include, but it is not limited to, a seasonal dance, a re-occurring club meeting, or a pop-up fundraiser. As important as some announcements are, students begin to feel worn down by the repeated bombardment of a sports result or the visit of a nearby college.

How relevant are these topics to certain people?

Freshman definitely do not need to visit a college, and neither do sophomores. Drama enthusiasts do not demand sports results, just as athletes do not often wish to know whom is featured in a new Trapdoor Theater production. In order to reach the entirety of the diverse student population at SJHHS, announcements are broad and cover all the bases of high school life…as they are expected to. However, information that does not concern or appeal to a certain crowd is more often than not ignored, in which case the announcements themselves become bothersome and unnecessary.

Do they even include all that goes on around SJHHS?

Short answer: no. More often than not, there are sports or events not mentioned at all at SJHHS that continue to discourage those participating in the activity. What if drama put on a musical/play or football had a game that was not incorporated in the announcements? Surely, performers and players alike would be outraged. Months of tireless preparation, only to be ignored. However, many fail to recognize, beneath ASB’s cheerleading of football, that there are other sports and activities at SJHHS continuously omitted from the morning announcements. Now, not only are the announcements annoying, they are insufficient.

How do the announcements affect education?

These announcements occur during tutorial, which is the one of the only acceptable times, while at the same time still being flawed. (Announcements are also made on Monday during 3rd period, limiting the teacher’s already small window of time.) Most teachers do not teach through tutorial, but those who do find the announcements annoying and repetitive. A pause in between a lesson breaks the student’s concentration, and consequently forces the teacher to return to a previously explained topic. To stop an important lecture in its tracks hinders the student’s capacity for understanding, and this is unacceptable.

No one should go around blaming the morning announcements for missed information during class, but there is a definite importance in the pace of the classroom. A consistent pace is ideal for the teacher to accomplish everything they have in mind for their class; they do not need an interruptive peppy high schooler diluting a student’s education with their all-too-well-known monotonous rambling of SJHHS’s latest events.

How can we fix these problems?

The solution to the majority of these problems can be found at Francis Howell North High School (FHN) in Philadelphia. At FHN, announcements are sent via text. Students and staff simply send a specific text to a five-letter number sequence to activate it. They can then receive the announcements on their cell phone. Students can choose whether or not to apply for the text, giving them a right they didn’t have before. The texts are all-inclusive, meaning they are basically a worded form of the preceding verbal announcement, but it would still be up to ASB what goes in. There are not specified texts for people seeking precise information on a dance or club meeting, or a way to submit important events for an announcement, although one would hope it would be available someday.

Even if this is done, ASB is still at fault for excluding events from the announcements, or only including what is considered to involve the entire school. Still, the circumstances at FHN are far superior to the babbling over the loud-speaker. Although students and staff may face reading through possibly unimportant information, time for education is saved as students can read about school announcements on their own time.